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  • Benefit claimants who are anxious and depressed may be forced to have therapy

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 2

    Ministers are piloting a scheme to provide therapy to benefit claimants with mental health problems to encourage them to return to work. The trials will provide therapy to those claiming employment and support allowance (ESA) on the basis of depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses. A source at the Department for Work and Pensions denied claims

  • Take more Syrian refugees, says UN diplomat

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 2

    Britain is being urged to consider taking more refugees from the conflict in Syria. Rolland Schilling, who represents the UN refugee agency in Britain, argued that while there was public concern about migration, there was also a deeply held belief that the persecuted should be protected. “I think that is a majority view. They go in parallel,” he said. Theresa

  • Compulsory ethics training for new MPs

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM

    MPs should have compulsory ethics training when they arrive in Westminster, according to a report by the committee for standards in public life. The committee said that many sectors in public life implemented training to increase awareness of the ethical standards expected and voiced concern that parliament was lagging behind. It acknowledged that the subject

  • Cable gets tough on foreign takeover bids

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 1

    Foreign companies that break promises made during takeover bids will face tougher sanctions under plans announced by Vince Cable. The business secretary said that he would bring in new rules to impose large fines if multinationals reneged on agreements made during deals. Dr Cable said that he had been “reflecting” on the £69 billion bid by the US pharmaceuticals

  • Ovo Energy accused in early payment row

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 7

    Ovo Energy, one of the fastest-growing independent energy suppliers and a poster child of the industry, has been accused of potentially putting customers’ money at risk by demanding that they pay upfront. Ecotricity, a rival independent supplier, has complained to Ofgem and says that it is considering referring the company to the Financial Conduct Authority

  • Family Building Society vows to take pressure off the bank of Mum and Dad

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 5

    A new building society launched today promises to help young people get on the housing ladder without recourse to the “bank of Mum and Dad”. The Family Building Society will offer lower rates to squeezed homebuyers by using cash deposited in relatives’ accounts as security. It will also offer specially tailored financial products for older generations

  • Private equity aims to revive flagging UK oil industry

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 16

    Some of the biggest names in private equity are set to boost the flagging North Sea industry with a $1 billion swoop on undervalued oil and gas fields. Blackstone, Blue Water and KKR are planning to invest in two new shell companies that will snap up mature fields in Britain and Norway that oil majors and smaller explorers do not want. Oil explorers

  • Farnborough no-show for $160m fighter jet grounded by America

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 1

    The fighter jet that is regarded as key to the future of the Royal Navy will not fly at the Farnborough International Airshow today after the American Department of Defense refused to give it safety clearance. Three weeks after an unexplained fire at the Eglin air force base in Florida, the F-35B Lightning II, which is due to be the defence and attack

  • TV Review: The Men Who Made Us Spend

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM

    Journalist Jacques Peretti’s latest documentary series tackles consumerism — but can we really buy his arguments? After The Men Who Made Us Fat and its sequel, The Men Who Made Us Thin there came on Saturday night Jacques Peretti’s The Men Who Made Us Spend. This journalist so little believes in free will that I fully expect his next series to be called

  • Politicians rail against assisted suicide, but bishop breaks ranks

    July 14, 2014 12:01 AM 7

    Legalising assisted dying could lead to thousands of terminally ill patients ending their lives because they feel a burden to their families, a group of leading parliamentarians has warned. In a letter to The Times, the group, including David Blunkett, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, the disabilities campaigner, said that in the US states